George Michael Dies At Age 53

by Lia Beck

Sad news this Christmas Day. According to the BBC, George Michael has died at age 53, his publicist confirmed to the outlet. The BBC reports that the singer is said to have "passed away peacefully at home." The news organization also reports that authorities say there were "no suspicious circumstances."

Michael's publicist released the following statement to The Mirror:

It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter reports that George Michael's long-time manager confirmed that the singer died of heart failure, and was found in his home on Christmas morning.

The Thames Valley Police sent THR the following statement: "Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post mortem has taken place."

Earlier: Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, was best known for his numerous hit songs during the 1980s and 90s, both with the duo Wham!, in which he performed along with Andrew Ridgeley, and solo. Some of his most well known songs with Wham! and as a solo artist include "Last Christmas," "Careless Whisper," and "Faith." As the BCC notes, the singer sold more than 100 million albums during his lengthy career.

As soon as the news was announced, fans of Michael began mourning the singer on Twitter, with many noting that his music and influence will to live on, and struggling with the fact that 2016 has taken yet another icon.